What is a tincture and how do I use it? A tincture is the extraction of plant material with some kind of liquid – be it alcohol or any other substance. There are many herbal tinctures at health food stores – they aren’t unique to cannabis! Several cannabis companies in Nevada make tinctures by mixing […]
What is a tincture and how do I use it?
A tincture is the extraction of plant material with some kind of liquid – be it alcohol or any other substance. There are many herbal tinctures at health food stores – they aren’t unique to cannabis! Several cannabis companies in Nevada make tinctures by mixing cannabis extracts with a food-grade carrier oil like coconut oil. The liquid is stored in a small glass bottle – usually with a dropper mechanism that is part of the lid. To use a tincture, put a dose in your mouth under your tongue, where the mucous membranes are the most porous and allows for faster absorption than simply swallowing. Leave it under there as long as you can stand before swallowing, but at least 30 seconds.
Why use a tincture?
They are a discreet, portable way to consume cannabis products. Unlike chocolate or gummies they don’t melt in the desert heat. It provides an alternative to smoking / inhaling cannabis. And because of the whole mucous membrane thing mentioned above, many people find they take effect faster than traditional edibles.
Ok then – what is a “ratio tincture” and why does it matter?
A ratio tincture is one that mixes different cannabinoids in different ratios – 8mg of one cannabinoid for every milligram of another, for example. Cannabis has many cannabinoids – THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and several dozen others – though those 4 are among the most common.
Each of us has what’s called an “endocannabinoid system” just like we have a respiratory system and digestive system. Different cannabinoids interact with that system in their own unique ways. Not only the dosage of a particular cannabinoid, but also what other cannabinoids are in the mix in what proportion, determine how a tincture will impact you. According to Project CBD, CBD enhances THC’s painkilling and anti-cancer properties.
How do I find my ratio?
Because cannabis is federally illegal in the United States, there is virtually no funding for clinical trials or scientific studies that could give us empirical data that such-and-such is good for x ailment, etc. Instead, as consumers we have to rely on anecdotal evidence shared by people we know, media outlets, and the internet. And then it can be a bit of trial and error. There is no “one ratio fits all” answer. I’m not a medical doctor and I cannot advise you on what you should or should not take; but I can share stories with you and some of the anecdotal evidence I’ve collected in this industry.
Full disclosure: the ratios I am most familiar with are the ones produced by the company I work with, so those are the ratios I can speak to – there are others out there but that article would have to be written by someone who is familiar with them. So we produce five different ratio tinctures: 20 to 1, 10 to 1, 5 to 1, 2 to 1, and 1 to 1. The first number is the ratio of CBD and the second is the ratio of THC. For example, the 5 to 1 has five times the amount of CBD as it does THC. The key with all cannabis products, including these, is to start small / low with your dose and increase if needed.
A key piece of info: when CBD is present in noticeably higher amounts than THC, it tends to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC (so you get some of the medicinal benefits of the THC without the “high”). But, as you approach a ratio of 1:1 (where CBD and THC are present in the same amount), the CBD tends to
AMPLIFY the effect of THC – it is MORE psychoactive than THC alone.
20 to 1: Perhaps because of the anticonvulsant properties of CBD and its positive impact on neurological systems, this seems to be the tincture that people with migraines and seizures gravitate towards. One dose has about 18mg of CBD, with less than 1 mg of THC. When CBD alone has not worked to alleviate their symptoms, some consumers try this ratio tincture and find relief. CBD and THC interact with different receptors in the human body and some people find CBD alone does not do the trick for them. Similarly, some of our team members with arthritis and aches and pains use it daily before coming into work because it is a natural preventive against pain that allows them to be completely functional and able to work.
10 to 1: A 10 to 1 or 5 to 1 ratio tinctures are the sweet spot for digestive aid and autoimmune support. Some people use the 10:1 ratio for anxiety or neurodegenerative conditions. For example, one customer told us that their tremors from Parkinson’s decrease when they take the 10:1 tincture.
5 to 1: Here’s an amazing story- one of our team members has a friend who had been taking opioids (responsibly, under a physician’s supervision) for 15 years for chronic health conditions. But because of the opioid epidemic, her doctor said he needed to stop prescribing it to her. So this friend, after 15 years, started using our 5:1 tincture during the day and 1:1 tincture during the night and successfully transitioned off of opiods in a matter of a couple months. This tincture has 12.5mg of CBD per dose (so it packs a reasonable anti-inflammatory punch) and 2.5mg of THC (when combined with CBD can be used during the daytime and deliver real relief). Sometimes a low THC remedy isn’t the best option for people’s healing. So a tincture with more THC in it can be helpful.
2 to 1: Some people find this can be used during the day and others find it a bit too strong. This is definitely the most potent pain reliever for (possible) daytime use, with just over 5mg of CBD and 2.5mg of THC (increase as needed). This is the tincture my massage therapist uses. When I first met her she would have to regularly soak her arms in an ice bath for extended periods of time. Now, she uses this tincture and can do massages for 12 hours a day 6 days in a row at the World Series of Poker and she’s fine.
1 to 1: This is the MOST psychoactive tincture. Most people find they need to take this at night or after work. Some people find it helps them go to sleep. Others find it is relaxing like having a beer would be. It is considered effective for pain relief, anxiety, and insomnia. Incidentally, I know of several people that have used this tincture on their skin for localized pain relief. Using THC in any amount on your skin isn’t going to get you high – it would have to enter your bloodstream. So several people have taken some kind of cream, be it steroid cream or Deep Blue rub, added a dose of this tincture to it and applied it to their skin, and then covered it with some kind of Band aid. They have all said the addition of the 1:1 tincture makes the cream far
How do you choose between different brands?
Of course I recommend our brand! It’s “Experience Premium Cannabis” and you can find our tinctures in many dispensaries around the state. We make solventless products that are good for people and good for the planet. All our packaging is eco-friendly to the greatest extent allowed under state regulations, we use VERY high-quality ingredients you can trust, have no harsh chemicals in our products, and we are a locally-owned and operated company.
There are many great products on the market – not just ours. You may need to try a few brands before settling on the ones that are best for you. Other points to consider are budget, how effective the products are, and how each company’s values align with your own regarding environmental stewardship, what solvents are left in the products, and other related factors.
Checkout Experience Premium Cannabis online at epclv.com